August 10, 2022
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“The 1,000 most influential climate scientists in the world were ranked in 2021, based on publication record and social media engagement. Of the top 20, only one was female (Reuters, 2021). At the same time, women bear the brunt of the climate crisis — about 80% of people displaced by climate change are women (UNDP, 2019).
The gender divide is also pronounced in the sustainability finance and digital landscapes, two areas influencing society’s ability to achieve climate targets. A 2019 study found that only 3% of climate finance addressed gender equality as a primary target (OECD 2019). In terms of global connectivity, men are 21% more likely than women to have internet access, this likelihood rises to 52% in least developed countries (USAID, 2022).
And yet, inspirational stories of hope abound. Women who experience the consequences of climate change are often leaders in developing coping strategies and building resilience (WEF, 2022). As noted at COP 26, by the Women in Finance Climate Action Group, ‘Women are not just victims; given the opportunity they are powerful agents of change.’
This SRI2022 dialogue session explored the gender divide across sustainability sciences, climate finance and the digital age, and its amplification at their nexus. With less than ten years to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the panel discussed how women hold a powerful key to reaching 2030 climate goals and how they can drive leadership, investment and technological innovation to accelerate the transition to net zero. As Nationally Determined Contributions continue to be refined, there is an opportunity now for governments and investors to build gender-responsive approaches to climate change that not only strengthen environmental outcomes, but also open up business opportunities and improve lives for women worldwide (2021 WFCA Report).”